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Ethiopia as a sovereign state will probe protests – PM and top diplomat insist

Ethiopia as a sovereign state will probe protests – PM and top diplomat insist


Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, insists that the country is able to launch investigations into deadly protests that have gone on in recent months and that as a sovereign country they should be allowed so to do.

His view is backed by the the Ethiopian ambassador to the United States, Girma Birru. Both men are quoted by the US-based Foreign Policy (FP) news portal as stating that the country did not need outsiders to probe the Oromia and Amhara protests.

“There is no need for somebody from outside to come and investigate this issue. It’s not because there is something to be hidden but it’s because we have a sovereignty that needs to be kept,” Hailemariam is quoted to have said.

In an exclusive interview, Ethiopia's prime minister blamed Olympic protests on U.S.-based dissenters. https://t.co/LGHecCzkIN

— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) September 21, 2016

The country located in the horn of Africa region has been under international pressure to accommodate independent observers to look into the nationwide protests that have been clamped down upon by the security agencies.

“Ethiopia is a sovereign country and Ethiopia has the capability to investigate its own case. When the Ethiopian government is assumed to have failed to do these things, it’s an insult,” the ambassador told FP in Washington last week.

Whiles accepting that protesters have legitimate grievances regarding land reform, he denied claims of political partiality by the government, citing the legislative presence of Oromia in both chambers of parliament — reportedly the largest of any region.

Human Rights Watch and other rights groups, the World Council of Churches and several governments across the world have called on the government and protesters to exercise restraint and to use dialogue as a means of ironing out differences.

The United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner in his recent report reiterated calls for the government to allow an independent assessment of the situation in order to confirm or dismiss reports in the media.

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